What do you get when you mix 1-part Bourne Identity with 1-part X-Men and add a dash of Sex Pistols? You get one of Image Comics’ newest entries: Throwaways #1.
Written by Caitlin Kittredge, author of a number of young-adult fiction and urban fantasy novels, as well as Coffin Hill (2013-2015) for Vertigo Comics and Lucas Stand, which she currently co-writes for Image. Throwaways #1 centers around two lead characters: Dean and Abby.
Dean is straight out of an 80’s punk rock band. He sports an old, green army jacket with a Black Flag t-shirt and a blue, spiked mohawk…and he has daddy issues to boot. Plus, he has telekinetic abilities similar to those of Magneto, but not limited to metal objects. Abby is a Jason Bourne-type, ex-Army Ranger who has been “activated” to protect Dean from a black ops, paramilitary unit that is trying to capture him for yet-to-be-revealed reasons.
The writing was interesting and entertaining. You will learn a lot about the backgrounds of Dean and Abby through their conversations, and for the most part these conversations feel natural, unlike some of the forced dialogue you might get with lesser writing. We learn of Abby’s military background through her interactions at a veterans support group, and Dean’s troubled relationship with his father is revealed through conversations with his girlfriend, Kimiko, as well as his own internal monologue.
Kittredge’s story flows quickly and smoothly from cover to cover, with the exception of one small hiccup. Toward the end of the book, while attempting to elude capture, Kimiko appears with Dean in one panel and then is gone in the next. Other than Abbey mentioning that Dean had gotten his “cute little girlfriend to safety”, there is no explanation of where she went.
The artwork for Throwaways #1, produced by artist Steven Sanders (Wolverine, X-Men) is clean, bold, and vibrantly colored. The characters are framed by thick, black outlines. Panel layouts vary from typical and straight-forward to creatively unique. For instance, one scene early in the book features Dean hurling shards of metal and glass while battling his would-be captors. The panels are arranged as multi-angled polygons that mimic the shapes of those metal and glass shards.
In another scene in which someone is shot, the sound effect for the gun blast looks as though it is written in the background with a giant Sharpie marker. While the foreground, looks as if the lens through which we have been watching the scene is cracked from the concussive discharge. There’s even a panel in which the entirety of the image is captured within the block letters of another gunshot sound effect.
Throwaways #1 is a deeply engaging story that left me wanting more. The artwork and panel layouts are creative and unique. Sanders’ artwork is just as entertaining to look at as Kittredge’s story is to read.
- Intriguing and mysterious plotline
- Creative artwork with unique panel layouts
- Evolving character histories that will surely play a large part in future issues
- Small break in continuity as a character disappears from a scene with no real explanation, but easily overlooked with no impact to the story